Award for county’s minerals plan
A local minerals plan produced by Gloucestershire County Council that aims to safeguard vital resources while responding to the climate emergency has gained an award.
The Minerals Local Plan for Gloucestershire was shortlisted as a finalist earlier this year in the South West Awards for Planning Excellence and was awarded a commendation in the category ‘Excellence in Plan Making Practice’ at the virtual awards ceremony last week.
The awards, run by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI), celebrate and champion outstanding and inspirational projects that demonstrate the power of planning in transforming communities and protecting and enhancing the environment.
At the online event streamed live on YouTube, the judging panel said they were ‘impressed that the plan went beyond the minimum requirements of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)’ and described it as ‘at the forefront of innovation and good practice with useful lessons for wider application across the South West and beyond’.
The Minerals Local Plan aims to secure a sustainable future for managing the county’s mineral resources from 2018 to 2032.
Key local resources include clay, coal, limestone, sand, gravel and sandstone which are distributed across several areas including the Cotswolds, Forest of Dean, Severn Vale and the Upper Thames Valley.
Minerals help drive the economy and will be vital to the post-pandemic recovery. They provide the construction materials needed to build and maintain homes, workplaces and to improve the county’s infrastructure. However, they are a diminishing resource that must be managed carefully to ensure they are available for future generations.
The plan has also achieved ‘Building with Nature’ accreditation, which means it is committed to supporting Gloucestershire’s green infrastructure and contributing to the wider response to the climate emergency.
Cllr Nigel Moor, cabinet member for environment and planning, said: “It’s important to use the county’s valuable minerals in a sustainable way to ensure future growth and prosperity for Gloucestershire. This local plan will help us to achieve our objectives while supporting our efforts to move towards a carbon neutral county.
"Winning a commendation in the awards is a great achievement and I would like to offer my congratulations to the team.”